Irish Minister launches ‘The Gathering’ in Manchester
Irish Minister launches ‘The Gathering’ in Manchester
Ireland’s Minister for tourism and Sport - Michael Ring TD, flew over to Manchester to launch Ireland’s new campaign called ‘The Gathering’ on Wednesday 20th June at the Midland Hotel in the City centre.
The minister launched the campaign with Tourism Ireland in front of representatives from Manchester’s Irish community and members of the annual Manchester Irish Festival, which is Europe’s biggest Irish Festival outside of the Emerald Isle. Kevin Fitzpatrick one of the co-chairs of the Manchester Irish Festival was asked to comment about the event and replied “It was great to see the minister selecting Manchester as one the cities in which to publicise the campaign. I think it is great idea and attended the start of the campaign in London, just after our festival in March. We have already started working on building up links with Tourism Ireland and last year invited a number of companies involved in tourism from Ireland over to our Irish festival. The festival is really excited about getting involved and helping build stronger links between the two countries.”
The launch has already generated a number of ideas for the campaign, one of which is to try and organise a ‘Manchester-Mayo Gathering’ which is an idea put forward by Lawrence Hennigan from the Manchester-Mayo Tourism and Business group. He said about the proposal “Manchester has one of the largest Mayo communities outside of London and a lot of people are getting really excited about the idea of organising some sort of joint festival in Mayo. We have already developed links with Mayo County Councils Diaspora website Mayo.ie, the Achill Tourism office and the Ballina Salmon Festival. But we would love to hear from anyone else who would like to get involved in the project. We hope to put on a festival featuring some of Manchester’s premier Irish musicians/groups, dancers and Gaelic Football teams. Our other objective would be to seek suitable venues, hotels, arts venues and groups which can become our partners in Mayo to help us host the Gathering. One we have staged the Gathering in Ireland we hope to do a similar event back in Manchester, where our friends from Mayo can come over to enjoy our hospitality.”
To get involved in the Manchester-Mayo Gathering interested parties can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Ring invited key individuals in Manchester to become Gathering Ambassadors, mobilise their own organisations, and organise their own Gathering events in Ireland next year.
"My message to them was simple: come and get involved. Be an Ambassador. Organise your own Gathering event in Ireland, and invite everyone you know to visit Ireland next year," Minister Ring said.
"The Irish community in Britain is our oldest diaspora, and we maintain close links with the Irish community in Manchester. There's no excuse for not visiting Ireland next year. It's only a hop across the water, and the enhanced programme of events running throughout the year should ensure that everyone finds something of interest."
In 2013, the people of Ireland will be throwing open their arms and inviting their family, friends and connections to join in The Gathering Ireland 2013 and celebrate all that is great about Ireland and her people. It is estimated that there is 8.9 million people who are living in the UK, have a connection to Ireland, the campaign is aimed at attracting them back home to visit the country in 2013.
The campaign is about asking anyone who has Irish blood, a link to Ireland, or even just a love of our country, to visit Ireland in 2013 for a series of amazing and diverse events taking place throughout the year.
What’s really special about The Gathering Ireland 2013 is that it is individuals, families, communities, sports clubs, colleges and businesses that will organise special events and gatherings to highlight what is unique about their community and Ireland as a whole and you are invited to be part of it.
The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a truly unique concept, the scale of which has never before taken place in Ireland.
The idea emerged from the Global Irish Economic Forum a few years back, when a group came together to explore how the Irish everywhere can work together towards economic recovery and look to ways Ireland and its global diaspora could develop a more strategic relationship. Hence, the Gathering was born; providing an opportunity for people, both at home and abroad, to get involved in a nationwide ‘movement’; a chance for each and every one of us to play our part in Ireland’s renewal making a significant contribution to our journey of recovery.
2013 is going to be an incredible year in Ireland with a packed calendar of local gatherings and events alongside international festivals, concerts, sporting events, music, drama, literature, dance and loads more. Some will be entirely new events and some more familiar but bigger and better than ever before. So, whatever your interest, there will be something for you. It’s a year when visitors will receive the 100,000 welcomes that the people of Ireland are renowned for, delivering an authentic experience which differentiates Ireland from other destinations.
The calendar is constantly growing. Among the established festivals that will offer enhanced programmes as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013 are:
* New Year’s Eve Festival
* St. Patrick’s Festival
* Galway Arts Festival
* Cork Choral Festival
* Dublin Horse Show
* Wexford Opera Festival
* Temple Bar Trad Fest
* love:live music International Music Day
A number of new festivals and events will also be created exclusively for the Gathering. Discussions are currently taking place around the following:
* A new International GAA event with finals held in Croke Park in August.
* A Festival of Football involving overseas clubs and players competing in matches taking place at parks and stadiums around Ireland. Discussions are also taking place to hold a Diaspora World Cup in Ireland.
* Bringing Riverdance back home and introducing a new show with John McColgan and Moya Doherty
* An expanded and multi-venue Christmas and New Year’s Festival will end the year with a bang.
Individuals, communities, clubs and organisations are logging on to the website www.thegatheringireland.com and pledging their own gatherings. Some already underway include clan gatherings, business alumni events, town twinning, and a number of genealogical projects. The second Gallagher Clan Gathering is now set for September 2013 when hundreds of Gallagher’s will descend on Donegal. While leading multi-nationals, KPMG and PwC have both confirmed they are to host international alumni events in Ireland in 2013 and Carrick-on Shannon will hold a special town and community gathering to celebrate its 400th birthday next year.
There are so many ways people can get involved. You can organise your own Gathering in Ireland bringing family, friends or colleagues to Ireland in 2013 or simply come and join in the celebrations being organised by the people of Ireland.
To find out more about The Gathering or to get inspiration to organise your own Gathering come along to one of the Gathering Community Meetings that are taking place in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester over the summer months. Perhaps you are in a position to influence a club, meeting, conference or any type of event, no matter how big or small, to take place in Ireland, The Gathering will make it easy for you through a range of supports and toolkits. The airlines and ferry operators will also be offering Gathering packages and special offers to entice visitors to come in 2013.
Everyone can be part of The Gathering Ireland 2013. You can help spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues; that now is the time to plan for 2013, the year to visit Ireland or come home. So, inform your networks to help spread the word of The Gathering Ireland 2013, get the conversation started telling everyone that they can be part of it. Get in touch with your home town and find out what is going on in 2013 so that you can also plan your visit.
You can register for updates on www.thegatheringireland.com